NINE Presidential Unit Citations?
The Presidential Unit Citation, originally called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the Armed Forces of the United States and allies for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941. The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. The Citation is carried on the unit's regimental colors in the form of a blue streamer, long and wide. For the Army, only on rare occasions will a unit larger than battalion qualify for award of this decoration.
Since its inception by Executive Order 9075 on February 26, 1942 retroactive to December 7, 1941 to 2008, the Presidential Unit Citation has been awarded in such conflicts as the Second World War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War, Afghanistan War and the Cold War. The degree of heroism required is the same as that which would warrant award of the Distinguished Service Cross to an individual.
Unit Citation to 100th Bn for action at Belvedere and Sassetta (Belvedere)
Unit Citation to 2nd Bn, 442nd RCT for action near Bruyeres (Belmont)
Unit Citation to 2nd Bn, action near Biffontaine (Biffontaine)
Unit Citation to Company "F" and "L" for action near Belmont (Belmont)
Unit Citation to 100th Bn for combat action nearBiffontaine (Biffontaine)
Unit Citation to: 232nd Engineer Combat Company Biffontaine (Vosges)
Unit Citation to 2nd Bn, 442nd RCT for action near Massa (France & Italy) ???
Unit Citation to 442nd R.C.T. for Serravezza, Carrara and Fosdinovo (Gothic line)
Just as the recipient of the Medal of Honor is recognized by the public not by the General Order paper authorizing it but by the visible blue medal proudly worn around the neck or the ribbon on the chest, the Presidential Unit Citation is not known to everyone by the General Order but by the streamer attached to the flag. In the case of the 100th/442nd RCT this unit now claims eight Presidential Unit Citation since they display eight blue streamers on the flag.
However, if one goes by the General orders authorizing the banners, the 100th/442nd RCT could claim Nine Citations. Taking a close look at the War Department General Order 83 - 6 August 1946. This document should be read in two parts as the 2nd Battalion received TWO different streamers at this time:
2nd Battalion 442nd Regimental Combat Team (A)* U.S. Army 1944-5 Biffontaine, France; War Department General Orders 83, 6 August 1946: 28 and 29 October 1944,. On 28 October 1944, the 2nd Battalion secured its objective in a 2-day operation, which eliminated a threat to the flanks of two American divisions. In the face of intense enemy barrages and numerous counterattacks, the infantrymen of this battalion fought their way through difficult jungle-like terrain in freezing weather and completely encircled the enemy.
For this action a blue streamer with the designation “BELMONT” was awarded to the Unit.
2nd Battalion 442nd Regimental Combat Team (B)* U.S. Army 1945 Massa Italy; War Department General Orders 83, U.S. Army 1944 Bruyeres, France; 19 October 1944 - The 2nd Battalion executed a brilliant tactical operation in capturing Hill 503, to expedite the forward movement beyond Bruyeres, France and to erase the German threat from the rear.
6 August 1946: 6 to 10 April, 1945 - Maintaining its admirable record of achievement in the vicinity of Massa, Italy the 2nd Battalion smashed through and exploited the strong Green Line on the Ligurian Coast. Surging over formidable heights through strong resistance, the 2nd Battalion, in 5 days of continuous, heavy fighting, captured a series of objectives to pave the way for the entry into the important communications centers of Massa and Carrara, Italy, without opposition. In this operation, the 2nd Battalion accounted for more than 200 Germans and captured or destroyed large quantities of enemy materiel.
For these two engagements a blue streamer with the designation “FRANCE and ITALY” was awarded
In my personal opinion, this latter banner seems inappropriate. If it was awarded as a general recognition for the 2nd Battalion campaigns it could be acceptable but in fact it was two different heroic actions, two different years, two different battles, two different theatres of operations, and two different countries. So instead of having a single streamer the 2nd Battalion could claim for two different streamer that could be named “ BRUYERES” for the action on October 19, 1944 liberated of the town of Bruyeres and “MASSA-CARRARA” for an entire different and heroic action that took place on April 6 to 10, 1945 in Italy.
Just as President Truman dramatically recognized and awarded the 100th/442nd RCT in 1946. I think that the celebration in Washington DC would be a great opportunity for President Barrack Obama to replace the streamer “France and Italy” by two blue streamers named “Bruyeres” and “Massa – Carrara” and make the proclamation that the 100th/442nd RCT is awarded with 9 Presidential Unit Citations and 21 Medals of Honor making it without any question regarding size or length of service, the Most Highly Decorated Unit in the US Army history.
Last days of October, I received a letter from Senator Akaka who told me his concern about this affaire, and that he made a inquiry to the Army to correct if needed the number of P.U.C. for the unit.
Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 was THE day. During the Congressional Gold Medal ceremonies at Emancipation Hall United States Capitol Visitor Center at 11am, The Honorable Harry Reid, Majority Leader of the United States Senate, clearly proclaimed: "The 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team is the Most Decorated Unit in US History... NINE Presidential Unit Citations !!"
WE did it. Thanks a million for your support. Bad news. Senator Akaka sent to me another letter stated the US Army reconized only 7 Presidential Unit Citations so far.
"Keep up that fight" said Harry Truman. Never give up...